BY IAN THORPE
As the National Hockey League season inches towards its close, the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association is busy getting organized for the year ahead.
For fans who may still be interested, we’re down to the finals in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s the St. Louis Blues against the Boston Bruins in the championship series and the title should finally be decided within the next week or so. As for me, I’m still bitter that the Bruins are in the final instead of my Maple Leafs. But as I’ve been saying since 1967, maybe next year…
Meanwhile, we may be just heading into summer, but Nanaimo Minor Hockey has been registering players during the past month in preparation for next season. The minor hockey season runs from September through March and interested male or female players between the ages of five and 20 are urged to sign up now for placement on teams in the appropriate division.
NMHA recently held its annual general meeting and election of officers. Returning as president for the year ahead is Brad Knight. Glenn Cook is first vice-president as well as director for the competitive division. In addition, Cook was recently named as general manager of hockey operations, responsible for the day-to-day operations of minor hockey.
Dave van Deventer is NMHA second vice-president in charge of risk and safety. Referee-in-chief for the coming year will be Cody Gessner, equipment manager is Adam Bowman and development coordinator is Heath Dennison. Ice coordinator position will be shared by Cathy Coulson and Vicky Long, who is also NMHA office manager.
Other directors for the various age levels include Dave Zielinski, Chris Lawson, James McArthur, Heather Bailey, Yvette McKay and Siobhan Davies, while Amanda Rauh is administrative and tournament director.
As for registration details, the recreational Initiation H1 and H2 division is for 5-6 year-olds. Teams are integrated, with a playing fee of $335. H3 and H4 novice recreational division for 7-8 year-olds is also integrated, with a registration fee of $495. Atom, peewee, bantam and midget players all have a $530 fee. Atoms are ages 9-10, peewees are 11-12, bantams are 13-14 and midgets are 15-16. All four divisions have a male/female integrated recreational league, as well as a possible competitive league based on interest and numbers. There could also be a competitive juvenile division for players aged 18-20, with a start-up fee of $250 and the remainder to be determined based on actual scheduling demands.
Competitive tryouts will be offered if registration numbers make it feasible following the end of regular registration on June 1. Competitive try-out fee is $125.
In preparation for the coming season, NMHA will be hosting a summer hockey camp for ages 5-12 planned for July 29-Aug. 2. There will be a girls’-only camp for ages 8-14 and a goalies-only camp for ages 8-12.
NMHA headquarters is located within the Nanaimo Ice Centre on Third Street and the phone number is 250-754-5010. For more information, visit www.hockeynanaimo.com.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.